Snake Oil by T. Ford

Third grader Justin Calloway has a big problem. He has some major test anxiety and keeps doing poorly on his tests. He discovers the solution to his problem on the back of a Rubberband Man comic: Snake Oil, guaranteed to increase your test scores. He orders it and it seems to work. Meanwhile, Justin is trying to find out if the rumor that the old lady down the street has a stuffed dead cat is true. Little does he know the old lady down the street holds the key to some crazy side effects from the snake oil.

In the book it very clearly states that Justin is in the 3rd grade, which would be 8 or 9 years old. In other places, however, blurbs about the book say he is 11 or 12 (his behavior is consistent with a 3rd grader). This is just one of the problems with this book. Right at the beginning it says he has a math test and then suddenly he took a science test instead and did well enough on it that his friend could come spend the night. I read the book out loud to my boys and they liked the story. It was cute, albeit a bit weird. But it is not a book I could just hand to my kid to read. The whole time I had to edit just to make it coherent. There were quotation marks out of place, tenses would change randomly, point of view changed a few times, the same thing would be repeated slightly differently over and over and over in a conversation. It was a mess. I felt like I was reading a rough draft of a book that could be very good. The way it is currently, I simply cannot recommend Snake Oil by T. Ford.

1 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 46
Pages Read in 2015: 12,331
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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